The Giver Film and the Novel – Compare Contrast Essay

Most well-written novels such as The Giver by Lowry are adapted into a film, despite the differences found between the movie and book, the central theme of showing humanity and society and the idea of the right of an individual to feel, think, and remember what makes us human are the same. The Giver portrays a society that has chosen sameness rather than value individuality of expression. The community lives in a world of no pain, no feelings, no lies and conformity with the objective of creating a perfect society or perfect state. The community has chosen sameness over freedom and individuality. The Giver is about the dangers that exist in a society when they decide to conform instead of being themselves. The community believes that by being themselves, they are protecting themselves without realizing the danger that this will do to them. People should be allowed to question the society they live in and experience emotions such as love and pain.   

The similarities and differences in The Giver novel and movie are in the characters, presentation of the details, the memories Jona receives and the unraveling of the plot. The relationship between Jona and Fiona has similarities and differences in the book and film. In the film, Fiona plays a bigger and more supporting role than in the book. In the book Jona has feelings for Fiona, however in the film, Jona loves Fiona, and the relationship is very serious. This is further seen in the movie when Fiona is torn between her feelings for Jona and the community that she has known all her life especially after Jona shares many experiences with her which he has learned from the Giver. Jona is 12 years old in the book, but he is in his teenage years in the film. Fiona and Asher have different professions, Fiona takes care of the elderly in the book whereas in the film she is a nurturer who takes care of young ones. Asher, Jona’s friend, is a recreational director in the book whereas in the movie he is a drone pilot. The filmmakers made a drone pilot as Asher plays a key role at the end when Jona escapes with Baby Gabe. The use of the drone with Asher as the pilot provides a better effect for the end of the story. The use of Asher as recreational director would not have the same effect, and the theme of the story does not change. Regarding similarities in presentations details, the community was the same both in the book and movie. The houses were white and the same design, and the clothes identical but some with different designs. 

The memories that Jona receives in the film are similar but different than the book. For example, Jona’s first experience of pain in the book was a sunburn whereas in the movie it was when he was stung by a bee. The memory of pain was shown in both the book and the movie, but the examples were different. The filmmakers used the visual of the bee sting as the viewer can see the pain as compared to the sunburn. In the movie, Jona experiences warfare by experiencing the Vietnam war and other video shooting of actual war in the real world. In the book, Jona’s experience of war is through horses and canons. The Giver explains what live is to Jona, but he does not experience it until he meet baby Gabriel and discovers that he will be the next Giver. Jonas also realizes that release in the community means to kill which makes him decide to force the community to give up the idea of sameness.     

The end of the book and the movie is also similar but different. It is similar because Jonas leaves the community with baby Gabe. It is different in the way the story of the end is told, but the message was the same. At the end of the movie, Jonas needed to know where baby Gabriel was and asked Fiona for help. Fiona was able to find Baby Gabriel because in the movie she is a nurturer and not a one who cares for the old as in the book. This explains why they had to change Fiona’s profession in the movie. Otherwise, Fiona would not have been able to find baby Gabriel. In the book Jona escapes with Gabriel where they finally reach the top of the hill and find snow and a sled. The readers are left to decide what happens to them as they slide down towards music and Christmas lights. In the movie, Jonas leaves to save baby Gabriel from being released.   The film and book The Giver although similar and different in many ways, both are similar as the central message of humanity and society does not change. The idea of a society that experiences no pain, emotion and believes in sameness may sound utopian, but in fact, the community in The Giver was dystopian. Humans should have the right to feel and think for themselves, and have the choice not to be controlled by others.

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